Leeds United Agent Hayden Evans Has His Say On The Club’s Business

Prominent agent Hayden Evans – who represents several Leeds United players – has weighed in on topics such as Marcelo Bielsa’s departure from Elland Road and some of the club’s business over the summer in an interview on The Phil Hay Show.

Hayden Evans Speaks Out of Leeds United Summer Business

On the Bielsa Sacking

Hayden Evans’ agency, HN Sports,  has a lot of players currently on the books at the club, so he has a unique insight into what some of the side’s younger players were feeling as Leeds struggled through an injury-ridden December.

Evans noted that there was a sense of nervousness throughout the club, with a split camp unsure of whether Bielsa keeping his role at Elland Road was an ideal way forwards.

He said: “I think the split camps were beginning to show themselves, with away games there was a lot of differing opinions and it was dividing fans. It was all becoming a bit divisive”.

His players, especially Jamie Shackleton and Charlie Cresswell, were mainstays on the bench at this time, giving him a good insight into the mood of the side.

As a fan of the Whites, Evans himself wanted to see Bielsa stay on until the end of the reason, but has a sense of disappointment that the club never got to say goodbye properly.

He said: “If we’re going to stick with him, stick with him, and he’s going to go in summer”.

Evans has a long history with the club, so his personal investment in them doing well meant a love of Bielsa, as many of the side’s fans had, and even still have.

On Jesse Marsch’s Arrival

When Jesse Marsch arrived at the club, the Leeds United agent saw that the fresh approach was accepted quite gladly by both his clients and players throughout the club. The positive reaction was clear to see on the pitch too, with the side’s drive for better results pushing them on to last-minute winners against Brentford, Brighton & Hove Albion, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Norwich City in Marsch’s 12-match tenure.

Evans said of the period: “I was a nervous wreck every week”, and in spite of all of the nerves, Marsch’s arrival drove the club on to Premier League survival.

Whilst a lot of fans saw a change in style from the exciting methods of Marcelo Bielsa to the American’s more pragmatic style, the agent said that it didn’t really count towards the fans’ view of him.

With a limited time at the club before the dreaded drop and players that weren’t ideal for his style, the former RB Leipzig manager’s focus was survival and safety, and the club pulled through in the end. Evans also said that seeing Archie Gray in the first-team squad wasn’t a surprise, although Bielsa kept him out of the side through fear of overexposure.

On Transfers

As an agent for several Leeds players, Evans is an integral cog in the transfer machine. In fact, two of his players moved from the Yorkshire side to Millwall, with both Jamie Shackleton and Charlie Cresswell making the move to develop in the Championship.

Shackleton first burst onto the scene in the first season of Bielsa’s reign but has since stalled, whereas Cresswell is far earlier in his development. When discussing Charlie Cresswell’s position in the side, he said: “How realistic was it that he’d get more than ten appearances, twenty appearances?”. The move to the Championship is sure to provide the towering centre-back with plenty of experience.

On Shackleton, Evans said: “His main consideration is ‘who’s going to play me as an eight?'”. After seasons of uncertainty, playing at both right-back and in the heart of midfield, Shackleton’s move seems to be one focusing on becoming the player he wants to be, rather than the player his managers have tried turning him into.

Outside his own clients, Evans was understanding of the club’s deals for both Raphinha and Kalvin Phillips. Noting that each player only wanted to go to one side, he stated that not selling them in the hope of a bidding war would be a risk, as keeping an unhappy player can harm a team going forwards.


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